Call for state of emergency over food shortage

Bougainville's offshore islands are so short of food a civil society advocate says a state of emergency should be declared.

Ursula Rakova heads Tulele Peisa, which is helping people from the Carteret Islands, where there have been problems for years with sea level rise, to settle on the Bougainville mainland.

She said severe flooding in January, with king tides, made things much worse, not only in the Carterets but also nearby Tasman or Nukumanu Islands.

Ms Rakova is calling on the autonomous government to declare a state of emergency.

"I think the Bougainville Government should really seriously look into the issue. I don't know - I can't see any reason why there wasn't a state of emergency on Carterets in January when flooding destroyed one of the islands," she said.

Ursula Rakova said islanders are unable to grow food and the coconuts are no longer producing as a result of saltwater intrusion.

She said they can still fish but have nothing to eat with it.